Zine Submissions

*ATTENTION TO ALL OF MY LOVELY FOLLOWERS*
For those of you who couldn’t tell already, I am a writer and I am creating a zine that will be composed of stories, poetry, and artwork about rape, sexual assault, self-esteem, abuse and mental illnesses such as eating disorders, anxiety, depression, etc. If you would like to submit your work, you can do so by clicking on the “Submissions” link in the menu bar of my newest blog “Milk”. I’m incredibly excited about this project and I hope your are too! The deadline for all submissions is November 1st.
*All submissions chosen for the zine will be announced the following week on November 8th*

Here is the link: https://morningmiilk.wordpress.com/

Consequence of Sound

It was my mom’s birthday yesterday.

Not my white mom’s; my black mom’s.

Well, “African-American” if you want to get technical but who wants to get technical with someone who pronounces your name wrong every goddamn time she calls,

when she calls,

if she calls.

When she

never

fucking

calls.

I’m not bitter.

I guess the problem with us, as people, is that we think we are gifted with eternal time; that we can spend entire lifetimes fucking up without any repercussions. Without any consequences.

In second grade I got my first pair of glasses;

In fourth grade I got sent to the office.

In eighth grade I won my first spelling bee and, in tenth grade, I learned that words only help

when you speak them.

I spent my entire childhood wishing I could bottle thunderstorms. Heavy thunderclouds and lightning bolts fastened beneath glass, electric wind swirling like frenzied lightning bugs in mason jars – I wanted it all. I wished ink into words and words into mouths and mouths into outstretched arms and that mothers could not both arrive and depart in the same sentence.

I wished to be reckless. I wished that even when I could talk about darkness no longer, even when there were no more instruments to adequately express my anguish; even when there was nothing left to tarnish, I wished to be fearless.

You see, there will come a day when there will be plenty of time to be cobwebs, plenty of time to be bronze medals, or snail shells, or lupine seeds, or fragments of exoskeletons examined and pinned, rustling at the past, but there will never be enough time to live if you spend it wishing fantasies into realities.

Did you know that a mother bird regurgitates her food into the mouths of her children to make sure they eat?

Sometimes I wish I knew who the fuck I’ve been trying to feed by emptying myself.

I spent every shitty high school lunch period wishing my cut apple could return to itself without help, without reassurance; that its sections might remember each other. I was devastated the day I discovered that

a shape

could not survive without

a shift.

I wish I had learned how to speak with words long before I learned how to speak with my body.

I wish my black mom would call me.

I wish I didn’t spend so many years trying to convince myself that fixing pain with more pain would, somehow, teach me how to survive; how to be okay.

 

 

 

 

A Letter To The Things in Which I Am Learning to Love

To my stomach, an anomaly of soft curves made from proudly eaten cupcakes and pizza,

To my feet, calloused with midnight adventures and every tree that I have ever climbed while trying to prove to my brothers that girls are strong too,

To my hair made of tangled forests and wild vines- the dominant trait from the blood of my ancestors comprised of beasts and lion-hearted girls- I hold my head high to balance this crown.

My hands can’t fix everything no matter how badly my soul wishes they would, my eyes are wide and naïve searching for a god- a beauty that scratches deeper and realer than any manicured hand ever could- and my skin is rough and weathered and tethered but it is made of earth and young civilizations so I will not apologize.

To my body, I will apologize for betraying you because American Apparel only makes size extra small and I thought that was better, I will apologize for making you believe that freedom comes only in the form of beauty that is silken and bears a straight nose, I will apologize for starving you and abusing you and shredding you into galaxies on nights it felt too dark and too lonely to be alive, however,

I will no longer apologize for

Owning you.

To my body, my body that no longer offers ribs in the sunlight but, instead, offers strength in all lights, you are not just my body;

You are potential.

Let’s grow old together,

My friend.

Selfies in a leather bodysuit after pizza. Yolo?

 

Little Universe

I cried when my first dog, Belle, died. Like me, she was a hand me down from people who had less time than love for her and I think that’s why our souls understood each other; why a part of me died when she stopped breathing. I spent hours trying to study her, unravel her; I spent years trying to reprieve her, to revive her and although, during those years, I had no storms chasing me, I found refuge in the way she curled herself around me during crisp summer nights. I guess, in a way, it makes me selfish for wanting her to live forever but she grew old quicker than she should have and before I had the chance to understand how sad loss could be- we ran out of time to say our goodbyes.

I cried the night I could feel my dad giving up on me. I grew up admiring the way the world spun in his eyes and the way the Grand Canyon weaved puzzles in his palms but that night- the night I got too drunk to remember my name yet hardly drunk enough to forget that he was an ex soldier- I saw no evidence of an Earth and all proof that he had waved a dozen white flags long before I even had the chance to sober.

Not even the strands of the leftover buzz could muffle the sound of you forgetting me; erasing me.

Have I ever told you that I once saw Jesus in a McDonald’s bathroom stall? His skin was made of porcelain and his sins, made of stainless steel manufactured in China. In bold purple Sharpie, the door read “Eat acid, see God” and, although I’ll never admit it, that night I realized the teen spirit bleeds out in more forms than one. Holy scriptures of adolescence, psalms of hormone-driven emotion etched in pencil and teen angst somehow understood that we were all sinners searching for a way out-

That we were all flawed in some sort of way and that we may possibly never know if all dogs really go to Heaven.

I cried for eternities the night I became painfully aware of my imposition on space; that I took up more of it than I probably ever deserved.

I had every intention of stripping that night of its darkness but after hours of desperately trying to scratch the stars away from the sky with my fingertips, I realized that I was incapable of stopping my world from dying so, from then on, I chose to move my body gently and eat slowly; to swallow Eucharist in the smallest of pieces and nibble timidly around the cores of apples in the case there were grenades hidden within their cores. I learned how to read labels, to walk on the edges of my toes; I learned how to control, calculate, and categorize-

Good foods.

Bad foods.

Fat,

fat,

fat-

buffering the awkward matter between reality and the world as I had wished it would be. Food kept me sane; kept my worlds from colliding.

“Lex, you’re so bony!”, my mom would tell me as she laid rubbing my back after long days of work. I swear, it seemed like she worked forever. Her hands, cold yet never harsh, made maps through my spine and pit stops at my hip bones, knocking hard on them to make sure they were real. Making sure I was real.

“Bony, bony, bony!”

My mom was right, though. I was never a particularly large kid- my knees jutted out farther than they probably should have and I often found myself wavering at the lower end of the BMI chart during my yearly physicals. However, her phrase- my hip bones- later became the gauge of my progress- my worth- as I shifted from preteen to teen.

And I hope she never knows that.

I’d never blame my parents for my insanity. After all, when one tells you to jump from a mountaintop, you don’t close your eyes and let the wind take you just because.

No.

But me? I was born with too much fire and a hopelessly desperate need for adrenaline so, truthfully, I think I’d always sort of wondered what it’d feel like to fall, to be wisped away in a cool breeze just like the ones you read about in romance novels.

On nights when I cursed gravity for concreting me and the gods for making my feet too heavy, I found myself grazing the planes of the body that laid beneath the heavy sheets and thick night air, searching for those

hip bones.

On mornings when the air smelled of dew and cheap coffee and I prayed to the skies that I would have the power to be less needy, I found myself studying the way the shower water trickled down my stomach and over those

hip bones.

Hip bones.

You could tear into these words, rip out their roots, and chop away their stringy structures; you could dislocate these words, feel your fingers through their rhythms and peel away the alliteration that binds these letters together.

You could consume these words, feel the predicates dribble from the corners of your mouth as you crunch them out of existence; analyze these words, call out their “important” images and themes and crush them into powdery debris as you ask yourself, “…and how does that make you feel?” but none of that could ever erase the fact that this world is a perplexing place. In one motion it creates the most beautiful, freeing moments and in the other, it kills your dogs and makes you hate yourself for not being invincible. I used to cry over real things, you know. I mean, real, “Holy fuck!”, life-changing kinds of things. Now, I cry when I get stuck behind sleepy trains or when my pants don’t fit or when my apples are bruised or when other things that will never matter happen and I hate the world for messing up when it

made me.

For Insomnia

It’s 4 o’clock in the morning and I would tell you what gray areas feel like but I don’t know how to make suddenly finding yourself at the edge of your bed in which you’ve neglected to adequately make for weeks praying to a god you’re not even sure you believe in poetic. It’s 4 o’clock in the morning and I would tell you what writer’s block feels like but I don’t know how to make coming to the harsh realization of the fact that you have been killing yourself for no real reason sound like a best-seller.

Last night I stumbled into my 10 p.m. car, this morning I slept past noon, last year I wished to breathe and now, it’s 4 o’clock in the morning and I still have no idea why my favorite pair of shoes always seem to wear out at the most unfortunate times or why life without food journals and scales seems terrifying.

It’s 4 o’clock in the morning and this is not a metaphor for life. It’s 4 o’clock in the morning and I’m still afraid of turning off the TV and, no, I’m not tired because I counted to 100 a thousand times and counted sheep a thousand times plus one and even that has only left me with a sore throat and brain freeze.

It’s 4 o’clock in the morning and I once heard somewhere that the practice of self love improves your hearing, your eyesight, lowers your blood pressure, increases pulmonary function, cardiac output, and helps wiring the musculature.

Imagine that.

Do you think if we lived in a world where everyone truly appreciated each and every piece of their being- “Baby, if ya got it, flaunt it“- instead of spending late nights in drive-thrus and liquor stores; shooting up in places of the earth that were not meant to be seen, then, could we know solace?

Then, could we live forever?

It’s 4 o’clock in the morning and I know it’s hard to love yourself even though “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” because sometimes what doesn’t kill you makes you wish it did but, it’s 4 o’clock in the morning and I hope you know that your lungs are made of trees.

Your limbs made of vines and your eyes- although science books will tell you that the stars we see are already dead and gone- are made up of tiny constellations that are very much so alive.

It’s 4 o’clock in the morning and I’m telling you all of this because I know, for me, sometimes at night when the air is dense and I’m missing home and I feel my soul bouncing off the ceiling and back into my throat like the lumps they warn you about when you lose something you love, I need to be reminded that

even at 4 o’clock in the morning

I deserve to live forever.

Friday Night Ramblings of a Teen Angst-y Teen

Do you ever just feel like you’re going crazy?

I’ll be the first to admit I am oblivious to the way humans work; the way we are born with constellations in our filaments yet neglect to see light, the way things as simple as a change of a letter can shake the earth-

morning

mourning;

I’ll probably never understand the way we, as humans, are drawn to destruction time and time again because our incredible urge to feel alive- to feel something– will forever seem stronger than our common sense.

I walked in on a male penis enhancement commercial today.

That was awkward.

It was eight in the morning and way too early to be in such a trying predicament however, thankfully, I’m a hardcore teen angst-y teen who likes to pretend like life doesn’t phase me so fortunately, the eye contact made between me and Natalie’s grandpa as the commercial explained erectile dysfunction and “better performance” was not the painful part.

Throwing up breakfast was.

Ugh. I know. It’s pretty much been going on all week. I’m an idiot.

The worst part about it wasn’t even that I got out of the shower, still dripping with water and diluted Pantene to do so. It wasn’t that I could taste the Dove bar soap on my fingers as I guided them towards the back of my throat or even that after toilet water splashed back up out of the bowl I spent 20 minutes desperately scrubbing the piss off my face because the worst part about it, about it all, was knowing that what I was doing was wrong in every way.

Sometimes I feel like I’m going absolutely insane.

Like…2007 Britney Spears meets everyday Naomi Campbell insane.

I wake up every morning uncomfortable and bloated and everything I’ve been trying to avoid feeling for these past three years and I tell myself that I’m okay and that my legs really aren’t that big and neither is my nose and that my shoulders are bearable both literally and metaphorically and so is my stomach but sometimes I really question who I’m trying to convince; who am I trying to recover for?

I feel massive and want need to lose weight.

And, I mean, truthfully, in my everyday life I’m surrounded by people who genuinely just don’t care. Not that they’re cold hearted or anything of that nature because they’re anything but that but, in all seriousness, they could probably care less about accountability or meal plans- what I eat or what I don’t eat.

And that’s hard for me to realize some days.

Although I know that treating my body kindly and feeding it properly is the right thing to do, sometimes I can’t help but feel like I’m betraying myself; like I’m going against everything I should be. Here I am, with no one “forcing” me to do anything recovery related yet still shoveling food into my mouth even when, sometimes, I’d just rather not because, why?

WHY?! What am I doing?

Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy…

Anyways, this is my first “ramblings” post partly because I feel bad for not posting in a while but mostly because I’m crazy. And tired.

And crazy tired.

Thanks for listening to my mush!

Morning Horoscopes

I find it kind of ironic that my sign is Libra.

Scales.

Real original.

With heavy feet and 6 a.m. under eye bags, I found myself standing on the bathroom scale this morning. Again. First with clothes then, none.

Risqué, I know.

As I stood there, bare, with dewy morning air brushing up against my goosebumped skin and sleep collecting in the corners of my eyes, all I could think about was how this time, last year, I wished to crumble. I felt the cold metal greet my feet and all I could remember was how this time, last year, I wished to empty.

I looked in the mirror beside me and watched my stomach swell and sink for longer than I wanted to. I don’t like that- watching what I could’ve been in my exhales fall to what I am in my inhales. Did you know that the average human spends up to five days out of the year looking in a mirror? I read that somewhere before. Before I liked reading. Before it mattered. Before it became relevant.

120 hours,

7,200 minutes,

and a gazillion seconds wasted on bullshit.

This is why I’m not a morning person.

But, then again, it’s easier to undo expectations when I’m half-awake.